Parliament of Victoria, Minister for Multicultural Affairs & Citizenship and BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Melbourne jointly hosted Inaugural Diwali and Annakut celebration at Parliament of Victoria in Melbourne on 16th October 2014 in the presence of over 110 guests.
The celebrations were attended by Hon Dr Denis Napthine (Premier of Victoria), Hon Matthew Guy (Minister for Multicultural Affairs & Citizenship), Mr M C Bhagat (Vice Consul from Consulate General of India, Melbourne), Mr Telmo Languller MP (Representing Opposition leader Hon Daniel Andrews), Mr Craig Ondarchie, Hon Lily D’ambrosio MP and prominent business & community leaders from Indian community.
The festivities began with few 'thaals' being sung to offer 150 vegetarian sweet & savory delicacies to deities of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami, Shiv Parvati, Shri Radha-Krishna, Shri Sita-Rama & Guru Parampara. Other celebration activities included lighting of the ceremonial lamp amid Vedic chanting, speeches by chief guests, arti, vote of thanks, Hinduism Speech & Video Presentation and Prasad.
In a very inspirational speech Hon Dr Denis Napthine, Premier of Victoria, said one of the greatest strengths, assets & advantages in Melbourne & Victoria is their diverse, harmonious & peaceful multicultural community. Premier Dr. Denis Napthine added his thanks to all present, on behalf of all Victorians and wished everyone a Happy Diwali.
All the guests appreciated the efforts that were put into organising the community celebrations and lauded the volunteers' efforts.